A SOUTHAMPTON man has begun an 18-month prison sentence after police officers stopped a car in Chapel Road and found that he had 26 packages of crack cocaine worth about £500 in a cellophane bag.

Prosecutor Colin Meeke alleged that Theo Francis was an integral part of a street dealing chain. Francis, 24, of Newtown Road, admitted possession with intent to supply.

Mitigating at the city Crown Court, Susan Ridge said that Francis was not gaining financially from his role and was going to retain six of the packages for himself. He had been using crack cocaine for six months and wanted to get off drugs, she said.